Adwatch: Block outlines economic reform plan in first ad

Ken Block


Republican Ken Block outlines his economic plan for Rhode Island in his first television campaign ad.

"I'm going door to door, telling folks about my plan to reform Rhode Island. It's called '3-2-1,'" Block says in the ad.

Block goes on to explain, in pretty basic terms, what he means.

But the program is premised on millions in savings, and that's where the ad raises some questions that bother Rhode Island College communications professor Valerie Endress.

"You do leave yourself open by sort of setting the parameters for your economic plan in such a way to your opponents criticizing it," Endress said.

Endress said she thought Block's first ad out of the box might be a little more homespun with stories about his childhood.

"I was a little surprised that he jumped right in with an argument ad rather than do the identity ad," Endress said.

But he's already been the target of an attack ad by opponent, Allan Fung.

"He had to defend himself against Fung. And so, what this does is change the agenda so people can start talking about his economic plan. And that's where his greatest credibility lies," Endress said.

He puts in credibility on the line.

"I've identified hundreds of millions of dollars in waste," Block says.

"If he's wrong, it's a gamble, because he's already set the parameters for it -- that he needs the hundreds of millions of dollars to be saved so that he can do with the money what he wishes to do. If he can't save that kind of money in Rhode Island, then it eats into his credibility," Endress said.

With the ad's debut, both Republicans running for governor are on television, and the race to the primary is off and running.